The Everyday Chronicles of a Nittygritty BIMgineer® | Nittygritty

09th Nov 2016

The Everyday Chronicles of a Nittygritty BIMgineer®

A Nittygritty BIMgineer® spends countless hours working with clients in London's top architectural practices on very well known projects. These projects win awards, scale enormous heights and generally have tourists and residents alike staring in awe. For our clients, its all the glamour!

Where we shine is working in the background doing things like introducing Revit or CAD to your teams, teaching the principles and best practices of BIM (Building Information Modelling), helping client teams navigate transitions from 2D to 3D, or developing BIM execution plans. Check out a few of our tips and tricks below! We love the results of our work.


By Dwayne Florant,  BIMgineer®

December  13th,  2016

BIMgineer® Tip #1 – Organised Revit Content

Often overlooked, but the easiest method for sorting and organising your Revit content is to have a simple and effective naming strategy that users can relate to and use. Our client began with nothing; out of the box content with in house Revit families being developed on the fly. It was uncoordinated, and there was no naming strategy – so I set off and developed one. They are now able to easily harness content across multiple projects prior to refining the finer details. It is already sorted by name, so finding things is easy; even without the use of content management tools. That will be the next step.

BIMgineer® Tip #2 – Revit can’t Draw

Whilst transitioning from MicroStation to Revit, our client needed all line weights to be consistent regardless of software package authorship. This resulted in a complete overhaul of the line weights structure and respective object styles within Revit. Once fully customized, with top down control over the graphics –  the basic output was comparable, and overall control (due to view templates) more organised. These updates were then applied to feasible projects already being developed with the now predated graphic standards.

BIMgineer® Tip #3 – PowerPoint Presentation

An Associate of our client is a whiz in PowerPoint, and was keen to leverage the Revit model his team was working on. I sat down with him and developed a workflow with basic training so predefined views with custom graphical settings could be used from Revit to .pdf to PowerPoint. He is now able to set this up himself on any of his Revit models so presentations and stage review diagrams can be plucked from the BIM at his convenience; all whilst the model is still developing.

BIMgineer® Tip #4 – NBS Create with Revit

Our client uses NBS Create to write their specifications, and have been doing so on Revit projects since its inception. I have been involved in this process and to date am still assisting in the development of workflows which enable custom content to be intelligent enough to work seamlessly with the software. This goes beyond the National Building Library, where in house custom content conforms to in house graphical and organisational standards; working with in house custom parameters, filters, and schedules – all whilst talking to the specification document in development.


By Liam Florant, BIMgineer®

December 13th, 2016

Bimgineer® CAD Tip #1 –  MicroStation Configuration, Consistency and Automation

Our Client has experienced increased growth over the last two years, with more than 400 Architects, spread across 4 offices; 3 in the UK, one in the US. They’ve been using MicroStation for some time and haven’t had the time to reconfigure their MicroStation configuration to match their growth.

Where they started

We used MicroStation and Powerdraft across their offices with two separate versions (four different pieces of software).

Each office has a main CAD server, on this CAD server lived 2 separate locations that housed their CAD standards, meaning that if there were any practice-wide changes, these changed needed to be made 8 times. A 20 minute practice wide change would take over 2 hours.

The UI for each office was slightly different and didn’t allow for their increasing number of projects.

Where they ended up

All machines across the varying offices now have one version of MicroStation and Powerdraft and I’ve reconfigured MicroStation/Powerdraft to run from one configuration folder on their CAD server. The folder structure of this configuration folder is the same across the offices, meaning that any practice-wide changes can be made once and replicated across the servers. A 20 minute practice-wide change will now actually take 20 minutes.

Their UI now groups their varying projects for easy selection and is identical in all offices.

BIMgineer® CAD Tip #2 –  It’s too early to start using Revit

It’s a common misconception that it’s too difficult or isn’t optimal to use Revit in the early stages of a project. Our client was the same, but after lots of discussions and training we’ve been able to show new Revit users how beneficial it can be. Using the Massing tool in Revit we’re able to produce area calculations, create design options and quickly make changes in a 3D environment with the eventual outcome of 3D cameras for presentations.  Our clients have now used Revit on many early stage/BID projects across the board and continue to reap the benefits.

BIMgineer® CAD Tip #3 – Transitioning from CAD to Revit – My architects don’t know Revit

Many of our clients are transitioning to Revit in the hopes of implementing BIM projects. As BIMgineers®, we specialise in training CAD users to understand how Revit works, and why it is more efficient than CAD when done correctly. We’ve been successful at doing this at multiple clients by converting MicroStation, AutoCAD or Sketchup projects into Revit project that save you time on admin, giving you more time for design.

BIMgineer® CAD Tip #4 – Working with Visualisers

Although Revit has Render functionality and multiple plugins to enhance this capability, we understand that for images used externally it can be advantageous to use a Visualiser. A project at a client focused greatly on their visual from V-ray to win a high-rise BID in the heart of London, but they also wanted to use Revit for its many benefits. After many discussions we developed a workflow to link a Revit model with a 3ds Max model and map the Revit materials to the V-ray materials. This allowed them to seamlessly update the Revit model, exported to 3ds Max and apply their V-ray materials for rendering.